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Thread: The Alpine Race, by Earnest A. Hooton

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    The Alpine Race, by Earnest A. Hooton

    ALPINE RACE.- (Basic brunet round-heads with medium broad noses)
    Sorting Criteria:
    • Hair color: dark brown, medium brown, rarely black.
    • Eye color: dark brown, medium brown.
    • Head form: cephalic index over 80, averaging 85; globular heads, wide high foreheads.
    • Nose form: nasal index over 63, often mesorrhine; nasal profile straight or slightly concave; nose fleshy, “blobby”, often with short, thick, elevated type.
    Other Characteres:
    • Skin color: olive or brunet white.
    • Hair quantity: abundant, especially heavy beard and body hair.
    • Face form: usually relatively broad and short-round or square (with prominent gonial angles).
    • Stature: medium to short; average about 166 cm.
    • Body build: thickset: short, thick neck; broad shoulders; deep chest; stubby extremities.
    Distribution. Concentrated in the central zone of Europe from France to the Urals; also southern Norway, Denmark, northern Italy, Balkans, and, sporadically in Near East; rare in northwest Africa.



    The Stodgy Alpines.-

    Brachycephaly is curiously uncommon in very archaic or palaeanthropic types in spite of the fact that the anthropoid apes, with the single exception of the mountain variety of gorilla, are round-headed. It is true that Keith reconstructs the Piltdown skull as brachycephalic, or nearly so, and it is quite possible that some of the Krapina Neanderthaloids were relatively broad-skulled. Most of the early examples of Homo sapiens found in Upper Pleistocene deposits are dolichocephalic, but brachycephals do appear at Solutré in France, at Alfalou in Algeria, and elsewhere. In postglacial times, during the Mesolithic period, coarse-boned round-heads are not uncommon in Europe. In genetic terms, brachycephaly is commonly explained as the result of repeated mutations, probably involving multiple factors controlling head shape, perhaps by determining the respective growth rates of head length and head breadth. Factors repressive of increase in head length and encouraging head breadth might bring about an apparent dominance of the broad, short heads. Foetalization, or the retention of infantile features in adult life, is another favourite explanation of brachycephaly, possible involving a shift in the endocrine balance toward a hypothyroid condition. Marett, for example, would invoke iodine deficiency as a predisposing or casual factor, operating through the ductless glands.


    Weindenreich stresses the reduction of massiveness and the breakdown of supporting structures of the skull –frontal and occipital torus, sagital crest, et cetera- in the evolution of Homo sapiens from palaeoanthropic types of man. The principal theme of Coon’s findings in his very detailed study of European races is the survival to modern times of massive-skulled, Upper Palaeolithic types in refuge areas and the derivation of smaller and lighter cranial types from these rugged and ponderous precursors. Thus he lays great emphasis upon the brachycephals of Alfalou in Algeria, the Mesolithic skulls of Ofnet and of the so-called Borreby type- a tall, heavy-boned, brachycephalic type common in Denmark, Belgium, and the northern Scandinavian area in Mesolithic times.


    There is no valid objection, in my opinion, to the derivation of modern, lighter-skulled brachycephals, such as Alpines, from ponderous Upper Palaeolithic precursors, but it is hard to see why modern examples of massive round-heads should be considered pure line Paleolithic survivors of different racial antecedents from the smaller and more delicate brachycephals by whom they are, in most cases, surrounded. There are in every stock individual constitutional and familial variation in size and robustness and general body build. These we shall discuss in a later section. Naturally, the more ponderous, muscular, and heavier-boned individuals of the Alpine race more closely resemble their rugged Paleolithic precursors. It may be desiderable to recognize a more massive, Borreby morphological subtype occurring within the brunet Alpine and East Baltic brachycephalic subraces, but to accord such a subtype separate suracial or racial classification would, it seems to me, postulate an isolation of very old racial strains and a perpetuation of pure lines that is improbable in any part of modern Europe. It is, however, perfectly possible that out-of- the way places have populations today that have been less subjected to intermixture and less affected by physiological and nutritional factors that make for type modernization that have the population of more central areas. So, it is conceivable that some, at least, of the Borreby massive round-heads carry more unmodified Palaeolithic genes that do ordinary rugged Alpines or East Baltics.


    We used to attribute some of these very tall, raw-boned brachycephalic types to interbreeding between Nordics and Alpines or between Alpines and massive dolichocephals of the Upper Palaeolithic (Combe-Capelle – Gallery Hill or Brünn types). I have no doubt that many have originated in exactly this way and owe their increased size and ruggedness, in some measure, to heterosis or hybrid vigor. Actually, in a word of men who have been migratory and promiscuous for scores of thousands of years, the origin of new types through hybridisation and the duplication of ancient prototypes y fresh recombinations of the same strains that were present and undifferentiated in fossil men is a much more likely phenomenon that pure line, unmodified survival of ancient forms. Atavism occurs through chance recombination of odds and end of usually recessive genes that have been covered up in differentiated modern stocks.


    It used to be the fashion to consider the round-headed Alpines as immigrants into Europe from some vast reservoir of their type, postulated to exist on the western slopes of the central Asiatic Plateau. If such a reservoir ever existed, it must have been completely emptied, because there is no considerable body of Alpine type Whites in that area today. Alpines in the Middle East are rarer by far that they are in Europe, although there is ample evidence that the have been involved in the interbreeding that has produced the secondary Armenoid subrace. I now seems probable that the tremendous increase of the Alpine type in Europe during historic times has been more a matter of selectional advantage and superior survival qualities of the type that of reinforcement through constant streams of immigration. Round-heads of obviously Alpine affinities are found in the Epipalaeolithic or Mesolithic burials in the caves at Ofnet, Wütemburg, South Germany, and in the shell heaps of Mugen on the Tagus river in Portugal. In the course of the Neolithic period, these globular-headed peoples with broad faces and short sturdy bodies established themselves in many places in Europe, as far west as Brittany, in central France, and particularly in the Alpine highlands and in the Balkan peninsula. They are also found at this early period in Denmark and in various areas of central and south-eastern Europe, but not usually as the predominant element in the population. We have reason to think that the spread of Bronze Age culture up the Danubian valley and then to northern and Western Europe was in considerable measure due to the industrial and commercial activity of this race, but unfortunately we are here faced by an almost insurmountable obstacle. Cremation began in Europe at some time during the Neolithic period and become more and more popular throughout the early metal ages until, at the end of the Bronze Age, it had grown to be the principal method of disposing of the remains of the dead. Nothing is more detestable to the physical anthropologist than this wretched habit of cremating the dead. It involves not only a prodigal wast of costly fuel excellent fertilizer, but also the complete destruction of physical historical data. On the other hand, the custom of embalming and mummification is most praiseworthy and highly to be recommended. When bodies are reduced to ashes or to a heap of calcined bones, it is impossible for the anthropologists to determine anything as to their original head form or other metric characters. Brachycephals and skulls of mixed head form seem to precede and to fringe the areas in which cremation was most prevalent in Europe in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages. And these are, in general, precisely the areas in which the brachycephalic Alpine subrace is most strongly established today. Therefore, it is justifiable inference that the spread of Alpines in Europe has been to a considerable extent conterminous with and masked by their habit, not invariable, but frequent, of burning their dead.


    Throughout the Early Iron Ages and during the Roman period, cremation continued to prevail in so many areas of Europe as to obscure the racial constitution of many of the populations. This habit of cremation was not confined to Alpines; it was also taken up and practiced by Nordics and other peoples. Nevertheless, the skeletal material available for examination seems to indicate that dolichocephaly prevailed in present day Alpine strongholds, notably Czecho-Slovakia and Austria-Hungary, in Poland and Russia, until the ninth or tenth century A.D. The first historical Slavic burials, dating not earlier that 900 A.D., are predominantly those of long-headed persons, although today the Slavs are, generally speaking, brachycephalic in head form. The overwhelming numerical superiority of round-headed types in central and eastern Europe today and their increasing prevalence in western and north-western Europe are partially explicable in the light of the historic invasions from the east. The first of the historical invasions from Asia was that of the Huns, who appeared in the latter part of the fourth century A.D. and formed a powerful kingdom in central Europe under Attila. But their disruption came about as a result of their defeat at Châlons in 451 and Attila’s death in 453 A.D. These Huns could not have reinforced the Alpine race in Europe because it is now certain that they were dolichocephalic Mongoloid in racial type. In the sixth century A.D. another wave of Asiatic race in Europe, the Avars, brachy Mongoloids, swept into Europe, driving before them the Bulgars, the Slavs, and others. They reached the lower Danube and were given land there by Justinian. In 562 A.D., they fought the Franks on the Elbe, and latter moved into Italy, leaving the Avars the masters of the greater part of the Danube valley. Later, with the Slavs, the Avars reached Hungary and overran the Balkan Peninsula. They were finally crushed in 796 A.D. by Pippin I of Italy. In 635 A.D. the Bulgars, another Asiatic group from the South Russian steppes, revolted from the Avars and entered the Balkan Peninsula. The Hungars came from the Urals to the Volga in 550 A.D. and reached the Danube bout 886 A.D. With the Magyars and other Turkish tribes, they founded the kingdom of Hungary, which absorbed the remmants of the Hun and Avar empires of the fifth and sixth centuries. It seems necessary to suppose that these successive waves of Asiatics settling in Europe must have been responsible in large measure for the brachycephalization of the modern population in central and eastern Europe. It is hardly possible that the physical type of all of these Asiatics coud have been purely Mongoloid or we should have a more Mongoloid population today in the areas of their settlement. Of course, Mongoloid features are very common in these regions, but the Alpine type predominates, and Alpine physical features differ in many important respects from those of Mongoloids.


    There is however, another possible explanation. In crosses of persons of dolichocephalic head form with brachycephals, the offspring are more likely to be mesocephalic or brachycephalic that long-headed. In other words, in a Mendelian sense, brachycephaly seems dominant over dolichocephaly. In a general way, this observation is well supported, but it is hardly probable that all Alpine racial features would similarly dominate over the distinctive features of other races. Many European subracial types are obviously the result of an intermixture of Alpines with Nordics or Mediterraneans, elements being blended in different proportions and with distinct results in several subtypes. But most of these mixed Alpine types are quite obviously mixed and present a mélange of Alpine and other racial features.


    If brachycephaly involved multiple, cumulative genetic factors, with dominance of those making for short, broad heads, the amount of phenotypic or visible brachycephaly might be increased considerably in the population, but certainly not to the extent of working a complete transformation from long-headedness to round headedness in a few centuries in the absence of selectional forces operating to favor the latter. Dominance does not in itself increase the proportion in the population of a dominant gene.


    It therefore seems clear that the gradual increase in brachycephaly noted from the Upper Palaeolithic times to 900 A.D. – a space of at least 20,000 years- might be accountable on the basis of dominance, selectional advantage, and the creation of round-headed types from long-heads in the interbreeding of White subraces. All of these factors put together seem insufficient to account for the tremendous swing to round-headedness in central and eastern Europe supposed to have taken place in the last ten centuries. To explain this, we must invoke additional reinforcements to the round-headed population in the way of migrants from Asia. Candela has made it clear enough that the historical invasions of Mongoloids must have brought to eastern and Central Europe most of the high proportion of B blood group found there today. However, not all the Asiatic invasions brought in immigrants of purely Mongoloid types. Coon thinks that the Magyars were only partially Mongoloid, though brachycephalic, and some of the Turks (the Tajiks, for example) are nearly purely Alpine.


    Finally, there are two considerations that must be urged in connection with this problem of modern brachycephalization of Central and Eastern Europe:

    (1) Survivals of dolichocephals and mesocephals in this area, as shown by Coon’s comprehensive survey of the existing materials, are far commoner that was previously thought to the de case;

    (2) by no means all of the European brachycephals are Alpines; much of the increase in round-headedness may be due to infiltration of East Baltics, Dinarics, Armenoids, and partially Mongoloid elements. Thus the mystery seems to be dissolve itself.



    "With the miscegenation vary as much the form as the essence of the nations".
    ILSE SCHWIDETZKY, Grundzüge der Völkerbiologie.



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    Re: The Alpine race. By Earnest A. Hooton.

    It is nice, I like.

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    Re: The Alpine race. By Earnest A. Hooton.

    I disagree with basically only one thing. The skin color gradient. Alpines, it seems to me, have a yellowy or slightly rosey compexion, and olive is not a very common color. to me, most people want to be olive, which is stupid of course, but have a yellow color, rather than olive. I have seen olive, but it has only been on Meds, or possibly dinarids.

    Id say more yellow than olive, but what do i know, im a rosy nordid!
    every year is getting shorter, never seen to find the time,
    plans that either come to nought, or half a page of scribble lines,
    hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way;
    the time has come, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say.

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    Re: The Alpine race. By Earnest A. Hooton.

    Quote Originally Posted by nätdeutsch View Post
    I disagree with basically only one thing. The skin color gradient. Alpines, it seems to me, have a yellowy or slightly rosey compexion, and olive is not a very common color. to me, most people want to be olive, which is stupid of course, but have a yellow color, rather than olive. I have seen olive, but it has only been on Meds, or possibly dinarids.

    Id say more yellow than olive, but what do i know, im a rosy nordid!
    I'll agree with this - very few French that I could call Alpinids that I've seen have an olive complexion, unless they are from Southern France. They tend to be a yellowy shade of white, as nätdeutsch put it. Peculiarly enough, despite being a dinaricised Pontid, my complexion tends to be more rosy than anything else - could be due to my mother though. Perhaps some Alpinids have minor Med or Nordid admixtures, hence varying colouration?

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    Re: The Alpine race. By Earnest A. Hooton.

    Quote Originally Posted by SineNomine View Post
    I'll agree with this - very few French that I could call Alpinids that I've seen have an olive complexion, unless they are from Southern France. They tend to be a yellowy shade of white, as nätdeutsch put it. Peculiarly enough, despite being a dinaricised Pontid, my complexion tends to be more rosy than anything else - could be due to my mother though. Perhaps some Alpinids have minor Med or Nordid admixtures, hence varying colouration?
    most of the "olives" are just normally complected people wishing they were Meds....
    for what reason, i dont know.
    every year is getting shorter, never seen to find the time,
    plans that either come to nought, or half a page of scribble lines,
    hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way;
    the time has come, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say.

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    Re: The Alpine race. By Earnest A. Hooton.

    Quote Originally Posted by nätdeutsch View Post
    most of the "olives" are just normally complected people wishing they were Meds....
    for what reason, i dont know.
    Meds (and Nordids) tan well. Tan is in fashion. You draw the conclusion.

    PS: It's gracile Meds that are darker (the common Med) - Atlanto-Meds apparently are lighter skinned.

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    Re: The Alpine race. By Earnest A. Hooton.

    I think for the pure Nordids, the majority do tan well. It's meant to be a characteristic of theirs, as opposed to CM's who don't tan so well. Still I doubt most tan to the extent that gracile Meds do, but they don't burn like many CM's would. I agree though - pale skin is by far the more attractive shade.

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    Re: The Alpine race. By Earnest A. Hooton.

    I had forgotten just how unattractive Hooton made Alpines sound. If you look at the Swiss mesolithic and move forward to modern times, Alpine ancestry doesn't have to sound so thrallish.

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    Re: The Alpine race. By Earnest A. Hooton.

    Quote Originally Posted by visigodo View Post
    Distribution. Concentrated in the central zone of Europe from France to the Urals; also southern Norway, Denmark, northern Italy, Balkans, and, sporadically in Near East; rare in northwest Africa.
    Does this include Borrebys?

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    AW: The Alpine race. By Earnest A. Hooton.

    Considering myself being at least partly (but more likely mainly) alpinid, I have to say, that my skin tone IS in fact olive. It's not the kind of tone, that occurs in the south of europe, in fact I'm very pale in winter, but there's always that undertone. In summer I tan easily.

    I admit, I'm far from a pro with racial classification, but that's what I see
    "WPMP3 sagt: was mich zu meiner nächsten theorie kommen lässt
    du bist obelixgleich als kind in einen großen behälter mit koks g
    efallen."

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